Eerke Boiten

Professor Eerke Boiten

Professor in Cyber Security, Director of Cyber Technology Institute
De Montfort University

Eerke Boiten is Professor of Cyber Security and Head of the School of Computer Science and Informatics at De Montfort University.  After his PhD in the Netherlands, Eerke worked at the University of Kent as a computer science researcher and academic from 1995, and set up and led Kent’s interdisciplinary Research Centre in Cyber Security in 2012.

Looking beyond his own discipline, Eerke developed an interest in the policy sides of data, starting from a perspective of technical realism. He engages in public debate in this area, including on privacy in general, with frequent quotes and contributions in the press and on radio.

He contributed as a computer science reviewer to the Nuffield Council on Bioethics report on Biological and Health Data in 2015.

In 2017, he moved to De Montfort University to lead the Cyber Technology Institute, which obtained NCSC/EPSRC Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research status in 2019.

His current research projects are in privacy impact assessment, refinement, cybercrime, cryptography and cyber intelligence sharing.

The Future of Safe and Transparent Access to Health Data

Health data, particularly in large datasets like the UK NHS does or could accumulate, has the power to transform medicine, and through that human lives. The historic way of sharing the benefits of data is to share “safe” copies of data. The rich descriptions of people’s lives present in health data also contribute to a serious problem in exploiting them: health data cannot be anonymised, “safe” copies of health data sets do not exist. The future is in sharing access to data rather than the data itself – which allows for greater control, greater transparency and accountability, proper data minimisation, and reduction in risk. Meanwhile, in the present, we live with a balancing of benefits and risks, driven by political, philosophical, and economic forces.


Listen to Eerke talk about data sharing in health, why anonymisation isn’t really safe, and why we need to think about health data in a new way. Or read the conversation here.

Ep10: The Future of Safe and Transparent Access to Health Data with Eerke Boiten

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